VIOLENCE

Syria Demands Guarantees

After one of the most violent days Syria has seen since resistance began to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the government said it wanted “written guarantees” from the opposition before pulling back its troops. The new demand comes two days before a ceasefire agreement backed by the United Nations. One hundred sixty people were killed Saturday, yet the Syrian Foreign Ministry said it would not go forward with the plan to pull back its troops until Kofi Annan, the U.N.’s envoy to Syria, provided it with a written agreement demonstrating “the acceptance by armed terrorist groups of a halt to all violence.” Annan presented a plan approved by the U.N. last week that called for a full ceasefire by April 12.